When your child is admitted to the hospital, it's stressful for your entire family. That's why the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital was designed for family-centered care. From our large, private rooms with in-room sleeping accommodations for parents to the healing garden, Family Care Center and our Family Learning Center, we are prepared to serve your entire family's concerns and needs. We hope our care gives your family more time to focus on the health and well-being of your child.
Comer Physicians Focused on Helping Kids Heal
I think of Comer as a second home. My children have been hospitalized here, and they love coming here. It's hard when we get ready to get discharged, because they want to stay. It's the environment, the way the rooms are designed, the nurses, the staff, the doctors, everyone. It just feels like a comfortable place, and we work hard here at Comer to make sure that everybody is taken care of, the family, the patients, whoever it may be. If you're here we want to make sure that you're comfortable and that we're getting you better.
Each floor of Comer Children's is inspired by poetry. Selected poems are incorporated into various forms of artwork, including paintings, sculptures and quilts. The artwork, with its corresponding poems, helps create an environment that inspires hope, healing and learning. The pieces are hung at varying heights, so children of all sizes — and even adults — can easily see them.
Comfortable, Child-Friendly Rooms
Vibrant colors and large private rooms help children feel more at home. The single rooms are 308 square feet — large enough for wheelchairs to move freely. Each room contains a small bookshelf, desk area and bulletin board. The rooms also have a flat-screen TV/computer where children can access child-appropriate websites, send and receive email, listen to music and watch movies on demand. You or your child can also regulate the temperate and lighting of the room. And you can adjust the height of the showers.
The sight of medical and technical equipment in a patient room can intimidate or scare children. The equipment is masked by art or is not exposed in Comer Children's. This leaves rooms with a spacious and uncluttered look and creates an environment where children feel secure.
Children will not hear the sound of an overhead paging system. A wireless call system enables patients to page their nurses when the call button is pressed. This makes our hospital a quieter, calmer place for children.
"Room Service" Approach
The "room service" approach to meals at Comer Children's allows children to order food any time between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. by calling 4-FOOD. Each room will have a menu. Food requests are checked to see if they meet the physician's instructions to assure correct food for your child's condition and status. Food is available for a variety of special needs, including vegetarian and kosher cuisine.
Group Play Areas
Play areas let kids be kids. They offer safe, fun-filled places of refuge where no medical procedures are performed. The playroom, a teen room and an outdoor healing garden are located on the hospital's main floor. A special room for adolescent and young adult cancer patients is on the second floor outside of the pediatric clinics. Smaller play areas, which provide games, toys and books are located on floors three through six.
The healing garden features art spaces, musical instruments and a “pond” made to create the visualization of water. The space was designed to capture elements of nature that would engage children and create an atmosphere of outdoor tranquility where families can enjoy peaceful moments while at the hospital.
Child life specialists from our Child Life Program offer opportunities for educational, developmental and therapeutic programs, which include art therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, medical bingo, a cooking program and more. If children are too ill to come to the playroom, events are telecast to the rooms so they won't miss out. Volunteers also bring toys, books and games to children's bedsides.
In-Room Sleeping Accommodations for Parents
Comer Children's provides families with many comforts of home while staying with their children. Each patient room has a queen-size sofa bed and recliner so family members don't have to leave their child's side. A small refrigerator in every room lets children and families keep their own snacks.
Nurses in Sight
Nurse charting alcoves are located outside patient rooms with one alcove for every two rooms. The alcoves are surrounded by glass, which allows nurses a direct view into a child's room. This improves patient care and comfort by making the staff more visible to children and families.
Our admission process is streamlined, reducing stress for both family and patient. Requests for admission are electronic. An admission representative comes to the child's bedside. With all transactions occurring in the patient's room, everyone can become oriented to their room and the amenities offered. The representative places a follow-up telephone call to the family within 24 to 48 hours after admission to make sure all questions have been answered.
Family Care Center
The Family Care Center is located on the second floor and includes laundry facilities and a vending machine area. Also, there is a family kitchen located on the sixth floor.
Family Learning Center
Located on the main floor, the Family Learning Center is a resource area for parents and caregivers. It provides computers with internet access, books, videos and other tools for learning about childhood health and illnesses. The center offers educational and supportive services that include training for post-hospital care, preventive and wellness education, information about recreational opportunities and places to stay in the Chicago area. It also has reading games, computer games and videos for patients and their siblings.
Spiritual Care and Piccolo Chapel
The Department of Pastoral Care provides interfaith, compassionate and sensitive care to patients and families. The staff fully supports each person or family that requests such help, using the individual faith of the family as the basis of this support. Our chapel is located on the main floor, yet it is set back from mainstream traffic for peace and privacy.
Chaplains are available at Comer Children's around the clock to attend to your unique spiritual and emotional needs during your journey.